Intonation: Theory, Models, and Applications

Athens, Greece
September 18-20, 1997


Can 'ToBI' Transcribe Intonational Variation in British English?

Francis Nolan, Esther Grabe

Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

This paper argues that ToBI, the de facto standard for international representation of English, falls unsatisfactorily between a phonetic and a phonological representation. Some differences between dialects cannot be captured, at least not without powerful interpretative conventions governing the relation of the representation to the speech signal. On the other hand ToBI is often too 'concrete' to reveal basic similarities between patterns. The issues are discussed, using existing examples from Northern Irish English, in the context of a new project on intonational variation in the English spoken in the British Isles.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Nolan, Francis / Grabe, Esther (1997): "Can 'toBI' transcribe intonational variation in british English?", In INT-1997, 259-262.